Corsair’s Carbide Series Spec-04 case and its aggressive front panel will turn heads in the sea of black rectangles typical of today’s inexpensive chassis. The Tempered Glass, or TG, version of the case that I’m reviewing today adds a window made from this increasingly-popular material to a chassis that rings in for just $60 at its suggested price.
The front panel of the Spec-04 TG is constructed of ABS plastic broken up by a large amount of bi-layered metal mesh.
The metal mesh should allow ample amounts of air to flow in to the case, and it could also double as a dust filter. This impromptu filter isn’t removable, though, so keep a can of compressed air handy for the inevitable dust bunnies.
A fairly firm pull on the bottom of the panel will separate it from the chassis. With the front panel removed, we get our first look at the only preinstalled fan: a 120-mm spinner that lights up with red LEDs. Above and below the preinstalled fan is room for additional 120-mm fans or one 120-mm or 140-mm radiator.
If one doesn’t need to install 3.5" storage inside, the Spec-04's hard-drive cage can be removed to allow enough room to install a 240-mm radiator. Our test rig requires a spot for a hard drive for temperature-monitoring purposes, but I did mount a 240-mm radiator in the front of the Spec-04 TG to verify that one does fit.
At the rear of the case, Corsair includes a standard I/O shield cutout and mounting points for a 120-mm exhaust fan or a 120-mm radiator. As an ATX mid-tower, the Spec-04 TG offers seven expansion slots with a locking plate for extra security. On the bottom is a cutout for a standard ATX power supply.
On the right side of the case, Corsair arranges the front I/O ports in a vertical line. This I/O panel is mounted under the front panel with a cutout on the right, accessible from the right side of the case. Although this arrangement looks cool, it could prove inconvenient for folks who keep their cases on the right-hand side of their monitors or desks. The panel includes power and reset buttons, 3.5-mm headphone and microphone jacks, one USB 3.0 port, and one USB 2.0 port.
On the top of the case, Corsair provides two mounting locations for 120-mm fans. These mounts can’t accept radiator stacks, however, likely thanks to their proximity to the motherboard tray.
The bottom of the case has a removable dust filter for the power supply. Rubber pads on the feet of the case could help reduce vibration and noise transfer from the case to the floor or desk.